The UK’s regulator Ofcom has launched a consultation on proposals which are aimed at enhancing the supply of spectrum available, ‘especially in the popular 3.8GHz-4.2GHz band’. Noting that spectrum sharing is a ‘key part’ of its strategy for spectrum management, the watchdog said it has over the last four years seen a growing interest in this form of access, with more than 1,500 licences now issued under its ‘Shared Access Framework’.

In light of demand and projected future growth, Ofcom has now proposed relaxing certain spectrum coordination assumptions to better match real world conditions, while it also aims to allow additional user input in spectrum coordination decisions. Further, the regulator is also proposing to support additional uses by increasing the permissible power level of its ‘Low Power’ product, and loosening certain restrictions on terminal record keeping for such Low Power indoor deployments. Finally, Ofcom has also said it is considering adjustments to its pricing approach for the 3.8GHz-4.2GHz band; in this area it says it would like to explore with stakeholders how moving to a more incentive based pricing approach could enable more efficient use of spectrum for all.

Comments on the consultation have been requested by a deadline of 2 February 2024.

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